Don’t call me ‘Christian’ any longer

By Robert Mann

When an angry reader emailed recently to ask how I justified calling myself a Christian, given my beliefs on social issues like marriage equality, I told him my relationship with God was none of his business. My response surely didn’t satisfy him. And I know it didn’t satisfy me.

I’m not spoiling for theological fights with readers about why I believe God does not condemn the innate sexual orientation of those he creates, but the inquiry was fair. I sometimes discuss my faith in this space and when readers question me about it, they deserve better than, “Butt out.”

I offer apologies to my correspondent. I doubt he will like my extended answer, but here it is: I’m considering dropping the moniker, Christian. The racists, homophobes and Islamophobes in these parts have so tarnished it that many of us now need better words to characterize our faith.

A few years ago, I wrote a column for an online faith publication, in which I mused about adopting new terminology:

“Pat Robertson, Phil Robertson, Tony Perkins, the Westboro Baptist Church, the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition. Think about the image of Christianity that these people and organizations — and dozens more like them — portray to the world. The un-churched who watch these people see Christianity as grim, unwelcoming, judgmental, joyless and self-righteous. Just what part of their hell-fire-and-brimstone sermons would be remotely attractive to a person tormented, for example, by alcoholism?”

I decided then to keep “Christian,” writing, “The public’s view of Christians will change when our Christ-inspired love for others overpowers and drowns out the hurtful words and actions of Robertson (Phil and Pat) and those like them. Changing our name won’t rehabilitate the term. Changing our actions will.”

I wrote that, however, long before white Evangelical Christians voted overwhelmingly to elect Donald Trump — a serial liar, sexual abuser, racist and Islamophobe — as president. That was also before Evangelicals in Alabama and elsewhere rallied to defend Republican U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore, a racist and homophobic former state judge accused of molesting at least two teenagers when he was in his early 30s.

It’s not only that many so-called Christians accept Moore’s dubious denials over the testimony of these women. Just as troubling is that they worship Moore, unconcerned about whether he’s a pedophile because, you know, any Democrat is worse than a child molester.

If you need any evidence about the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of the pretenders who have hijacked the Christian faith, consider that almost 40 percent of self-professed Evangelicals in Alabama say charges of pedophilia make them more, not less, likely to support Moore.

Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.

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6 Responses to Don’t call me ‘Christian’ any longer

  1. Stephen Winham says:

    The evangelicals (and think about what that term now means – it is far from the meaning I was taught many years ago) have used Christ’s name to press their own agenda and to close ranks. Their intolerance and sanctimony (another word whose meaning has morphed) have driven many people away from all organized religions – including me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. morganre says:

    Thought you ight be interested in this – 

    Like

  3. Fredster says:

    The sad part about these Alabama Republican voters is they want to entirely dismiss Doug Jones just because of a “D” behind his name. Never mind that he successfully prosecuted the last two of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers. But then, the bombing only killed four little black girls; you know, nothing important there at all.

    It’s much better to vote for a man who has an “R” behind his name despite being removed from the state supreme court…twice and who seemingly had interests in dating young teen-aged girls.

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  4. Ken Burk says:

    I gave up on organized religion many years ago. It began when I realized that many of my faith were not reflective of what I had been taught as a young man. I find myself extremely critical of religion now and although not vacal about it, often think “Christians, really?” I always catch myself though, because you, Bob, and our friend, Chris Frink are noteworthy for what Christianity really stands for to me. If you can persuade Chris and others like you to use another term, I am happy to think, “Christians, really?” without a second thought.

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  5. martybankson says:

    The stately, prim and proper (pompous) Kay Ivey, Gubnah of Alabama, proves your point by coming out today to support hizonner Moore “…cuz Democrats,” even though she confesses to have “no reason to disbelieve his accusers.” Now then, she didn’t come out a-speechifying with crucifix ear bobs and a Bible, but you can bet she is no atheist or Muslim with these omissions.
    The theme of your observation was sharply summed up by James Hunter in the current Hedgehog Review: “For all of its continued vitality in personal lives and local communities, religious faith has been thoroughly weaponized on behalf of partisan interests.”
    Unfortunately this does not apply to only fundamentalist American Christianity.

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